…sharing my leap into audio publishing… a whole new dimension…

…FOR AUTHORS AND READER PALS:
…a wee update on my recently-hinted-at foray into the WURLD of Audio books for my Jack Calder crime thriller series:
…the first bold strides have been taken… Narrator Supreme, Master Chris C. Hogan, has provided the initial voice demos, and we are up and running… for any of yeez thinking of going the audio route with yer wee masterpieces, an interesting coupla initial observations on the process:
1. Jack Calder and the rest of the characters have been living in my head for the past ten years now, populating the narratives of five titles and a sixth, Work-in-Progress… little wonder, then, when I heard Chris’s version of their voices on the demo, they sounded like strangers to my ears, ‘coz I’ve been conversing with them all for a decade, and of course, their voices in my head are already established…
Major Lesson #1 : Instant realization that as many people who’ve kindly downloaded my books (over 100,000 of yeez), will equate to just as many different versions of the characters voices in their respective reading minds…
2. A wee while ago, I tried recording myself the first short chapter of one of my titles (not the one Chris is currently WURKING on), and I thought it  sounded okay… but when Chris began speaking on his first demo to me, WOW! a whole new dimension kicked in… his experience in voice recording over forty years instantly brought a new vibrance to the narrative of THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY (we’re gonna start with the first title and see where that takes us)…
Major Lesson #2 : As the author, throw out any preconceived ideas of what yeez think it’s all supposed to sound like… stand back and let the professional get on with his WURK… the modulation, the accent, the tone, the pace, and especially the gritty ‘feel’ to the spoken book is a whole new universe… and I’m excited about it…
3. Most of my writing career for the past ten years has been as a self-publisher, and a good while back I came to realize that is largely down to my desire to have as much ‘control’ as I can muster on the whole ‘business of writing’, sum’thing I expound on quite a lot in my blogs…
Major lesson #3 : Even in these early days of coordination with Chris, that sense of ‘control’ is still absolute… Chris ‘gets’ what I’m looking for in the story… this evening we discussed, for example, that with over forty different speaking characters in the book, of which around five or six are main players, the rest appearing at random, there is no call for forty different speaking voices… most of the non-main voices are just part of the story… the lead voices are part of the drama and action parts… so at least that occurred to me instantly…
Major Lesson #4 : The fun, frisson, and excitement are as much alive in this process as they have been all throughout the ten-year journey so far… the first audio book version should be available before the end of the year… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!
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…I must have joined the dafties queue and ended up in the wrong profession…

…if ever this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler needed reminding of how fickle life can be, a glance at the following list is insightful:

Harry Redknapp… ex-Manager of Birmingham City Football Club (151 days tenure)

 

 

 

 

Simon Grayson… ex-Manager of Sunderland Association Football Club (124 days tenure)

 

 

 

 

Ronald Koeman… ex-Manager of Everton Football Club (496 days tenure)

 

 

 

Craig Shakespeare … ex-Manager of Leicester City Football Club  236 days tenure)

 

 

Frank de Boer… ex-Manager of Crystal Palace Football Club (77 days tenure)

 

 

 

 

…a fine body of gentlemen, yeez may say, and with prob’ly good reason for that opinion… Master Gallacher has several traits in common with all of them, viz:

  1. Having played professional soccer at some time in my life (albeit a couple of decades prior to most of them apart from Our ‘Arry)
  2. Being of European descent (mine: good Scottish/Irish stock)
  3. Residing on the upper side of 45 years of age (time is just a number, Mabel – Editor: aye, right!)
  4. Experiencing being job-terminated at some time in my career (I still swear I had NUTHIN to do with that unfortunate incident with the sausages at the meat counter in Tesco in St. John’s Wood… it was all a simple misunderstanding)…

…but there the common traits come to a screeching halt… where each of the listed men above differ from me is as noted:

  1. Commanding HUGE amounts of money for FAILURE… every one of them recently parted company with their Football Club employers with massive monetary pay-offs… after varying weeks of full salary, (up to the levels of which most of us cannot even count)… in any other profession, there is seldom that kind of earnings parachute – the ultimate ‘Platinum Goodbye’…
  2. Fresh from each of these SUCCESSFUL FAILURES (now, there’s an oxymoron for yeez!), there are  still other prospective employers willing to consider hiring these men to guide the fortunes of their respective footballing club ambitions… (if at first yeez don’t succeed, try failing another dozen times?)…

…please don’t mistake my message here… I’m not criticizing any of the aforementioned gentlemen… au contraire… I’m insanely jealous of their talent for continuous re-employment at the salary levels they fetch… down at the Job Centre all those years ago, I must have joined the dafties queue and ended up in the wrong profession… excuse me, while I just go and amend my curriculum vitae by inserting some massive screw-ups along the way… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…£55.85 + £2.80 UK delivery for one of my secondhand books!… Gold plated?…

…I s’pose I should feel flattered… apparently one of my Jack Calder crime thrillers, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, is on offer from a firm called HartleyFR for the princely, nay, for the kingly, sum of £55.85 + £2.80 UK delivery, making it an absolute snip at net £58.65… it seriously beggars belief… mine, anyway… only two of my titles, the one above, and THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, are in hard print, (paperbacks)… they are also on Kindle along with the other three titles in the series…the reason for the hard print copies is worth the telling also… when I first started scribbling these novels, WURKING and living as I was at the time in Abu Dhabi (where I still regularly shuttle back and fro Bahrain), it became known that Master Gallacher, had added ‘Author’ to his CV, and invitations piled in from book groups, and other interested associations to be a Guest Speaker… these gatherings were great fun, and people began to ask where they could buy my books… I replied they were only available on Auntie Amazon Kindle… many folks did not have a Kindle, and wanted to know when I would have hard copies… ergo, I sussed out the process of channeling through the local government Media Council, which effectively acts as a censor to ensure no offensive material entered the selling market place… two months later, I had engaged a printing company, and presto, hey… hard copies on tap… the next part of the project entailed visiting the Head Offices of all the major book retailers in the United Arab Emirates – W.H.Smith, Jashanmal, Virgin Books, McGrudy’s, negotiating a writer’s version of ‘hand-to-hand combat’ personally with their respective chief buyers to take my hard copies on consignment into their outlets… I also sold some hard copies directly and donated some along the way at ‘meet-the-author’ gatherings… sum’how, now, several of these hard copies are appearing on the online second hand purveyors… but £58.65 for a used paperback book?… granted, I signed many of them, but it wasn’t like signing a cheque, Mabel!… this publishing lark never ceases to provide quirks to amaze me… …much as I would admire the strength of yer pocketbooks at the ridiculous price quoted above, I’d much rather yeez went via Kindle at a more respectable virtual buying price of £2.78/US$3.59…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

myBook.to/vengeancewearsblack

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…mobile-phone-itis… the delusion of being in communication control…

…once upon a time… in an age long far gone from mem’ry, people used to have face-to-face conversations… then the invention of the telephone brought the ability to use a machine to dial up another machine, and through that means, hold a different type of conversation… the type of hours-long conversations that had fathers of teenagers pulling their hair out when the monthly telephone company bills arrived… these contraptions were attached to walls, or sat on furniture with wires attached to sum’place in the skirting boards in homes and offices… came then the ‘blessing-cum-curse’ of mobile communication devices… at first people called them ‘hand-held’… (how else do yeez ‘hold’ if not in yer ‘hand‘?)… and the transformation of the WURLD of personal communication as we knew it had begun… fast forward to the present day… it seems in the cities, malls, buses and planes I move in, everybody and his cat, dog, and pet tortoise owns at least one, and often more than just one, of these…

…unlike the majority of other folks I know, my use of my Samsung is restricted simply to making and receiving phone calls, and SMS messaging, although I’m aware of the claims that they perform other functions – such as camera-WURK, emails, alarm clock, making-the-tea-in-the-morning, predicting-the-winner-of-the-Grand-National-horserace, booking flights at massively discounted pricing selected from thousands of quotes, all in the matter of seconds… whaddya mean, they don’t do some of this things?…of course they do, Mabel!… but here’s sum’thing I’ve noticed, when I don’t have my own nose stuck on the mobile’s screen – this morning I walked past a row of coffee shops, with lots of customers sitting at tables inside and outside of their premises…

…out of p’raps a hundred people I observed, at least 95% of them had their their mobile devices stuck to their ears, either talking or listening… yeez think I’m kidding?… have a look around yeez next time yeez are in sum’place like Starbuxx or CostaI call it mobile-phone-itis… the delusion of being in communication control… the machines have actually taken over, good folks, the control is in reverse… but yeez’ll have to excuse me, I have to take this call now… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…how can this music NOT touch yer soul?…

…to this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler, there are some things which are unimpeachable… foremost of these is the kind of music Davy Spillane treats us with in the video above… many of yeez know I lived and WURKED in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Hebrides through my late teens… my entanglement with the Gaelic language, its songs and its music has been steadfast ever since… ask islanders when they hear the plaintiff grace notes, what it does for them, and most will not be able to explain the emotions that are stirred… having resided amongst that community for the time that I did, I think I may have some of the answer… there’s a remarkable sense from time to time of being alone, but not of being lonely… of welcoming into yer spirit a calm that only pibroch-style music offers… sure, it’s a kinda selfish indulgence, bordering on the melancholy, but isn’t melancholy also a personal wee treat occasionally?… I once heard ‘melancholy’ described as ‘a stare chained to the ground’… a delicious encapsulation of how I feel in the few times I’ve reached that state… switch over to the pipe music, and sum’thing similar ebbs and flows in my soul… the rest of the WURLD is far away… the travails of everyday living take a back seat… an antidote to the hurly-burly, the traffic, the ubiquitous constant nonsense served up by the Cable News Channels ad nauseam… I read recently that the people of the Hebrides are reckoned to be among the happiest on the planet… I can understand why… the self-contained community that lives, laughs, and sings together, has a special bond uniting them… music such as Davy Spillane’s, Enya’s and Runrig’s help to keep that secure… how can this music NOT touch yer soul?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…the most wonderful moment of my writing career… and it’s not what you may think…

…I may have touched on this story before, but I make no apologies for its reappearance here… in my ten years of ‘serious’ writing, this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has experienced so many emotional ‘highs’… from the first-ever typing of ‘The End’ – on THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, ten years ago, which lifted me onto a pink cloud that I refused to vacate for months afterward… from the astonishing award of ‘BLOGGER OF THE YEAR’ in December 2013, in which, as far as I know, my Granny did not vote… from the receipt of the first-ever Auntie Amazon Kindle royalty payment, even though it fell somewhat short of the downpayment on the Rolls Royce convertible… to the mind-boggling realisation of aggregate sales for my Jack Calder crime series novels surpassing 100,000…  all of these were terrific, not only for my confidence, but for that ever-so-fragile ego that, deep down,  many of we authors confess to owning… today, however, I was musing on an incredible day a few years back, of a time when I was blessed with a regular driver to look after my transport needs in Abu Dhabi (I’ve never owned a driving licence… and thereby hangs a story for another time)…

…he is an Indian national from the great area of Kerala… I won’t name him here, as he may be unnecessarily embarrassed by this recounting… for the early years of my writing of the series of Jack Calder and the ISP lads, he drove me around, unable to avoid hearing my countless phone calls on my mobile in the back of the vehicle… I would be discussing with others such things as character development, story lines, distribution channels for the novels, Guest Speaker meetings at book clubs and associations…

…one day in the car, he showed me a bundle of papers… from a filled, school-type jotter, written in ball-point pen… the language was his own Indian script and dialect from Kerala… he was writing the story about his childhood and the environment where he grew up… with the recollections of how different life was back then… black and white televisions, sparsely scattered around the district… the first time he saw a TV was the Mexico World Cup games, in a village miles from his own, where everybody went to watch… he described the village neighbours all pitching in to tend flowers in their wee street, open doors at all times… and the bit that floored me was he said he had been so inspired by listening to me and my writing journey, he had decided to embark on his own narration of his years growing up… it brought more than just a lump to my throat, which I can feel again even as  I write this now… and it remains the single most wonderful thing that my writing has ever given me to date… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…one of my favourite author friends, Anne Allen, has a new title launch…

…it’s always pleasing to see a good friend in the scribbling business continue to produce terrific WURK... here’s yet another from my pal, Anne Allen…

 

Thanks, Seumas, for inviting me onto your world-renowned blog to talk about my latest book, ‘The Betrayal’. This is the 6th in my series, The Guernsey Novels, and like the 5th, ‘Echoes of Time’, is dual-time, with chapters set during WWII and the present day. The events I describe during the Occupation are based on fact, but the characters are fictional.

The first inspiration for this story was the deportation of Jews from Guernsey by the Germans. They were sent to concentration camps and none returned. It is now considered a shameful blot on the island’s history, but the then local government were powerless to resist their German ‘masters’.

On a brighter note, the second inspiration was Renoir. He spent the summer of 1883 in Guernsey painting numerous versions of a particular bay, Muelin Huet, amongst others. At least one of these paintings is in a museum.

Leo Bichard is a prominent businessman whose French grandmother was a Jew, although both his parents were Christians. His family have never mentioned their ancestry but, unfortunately for Leo, someone tells the Germans, and he is deported with other Jews to concentration camps and does not return.

A matter of days before the Germans arrive, Leo sends his beloved wife, Teresa, and child to England and he stays to defend his property and stand alongside his fellow islanders. However, the Germans soon impose severe restrictions on the population and Leo is forced to close his business and months later his house is taken over by soldiers and he has no choice but to live with his housekeeper in her small cottage.

When Teresa returns after the war, she finds her home wrecked and the family’s valuables, including an extensive art collection, missing. One of those was a treasured family painting by Renoir. Learning she is a widow, she returns heartbroken to live with her family in England.

In 2010 Nigel and his twin Fiona, locals who have lived in London since university, return to Guernsey and buy a long-established antiques shop. A year later, during a refit, they find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth.

Searching for the true owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who helps to heal her broken heart. But there are important questions to answer before she can lay her brother’s ghost to rest —

Who betrayed Leo? Who knew about the stolen Renoir? And are they prepared to kill – again?

The kindle book is open for pre-order NOW and is published on Friday 20th October. The launch price is £1.99 and will increase to £2.99 from 22nd October. All the previous titles are on a promotion at 99p from 18th -22nd October. Bargains! The paperback will be out the end of October.

 

The Betrayal – http://myBook.to/TheBetrayal

Website: http://www.anneallen.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author-176883759173475/

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby.  Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, five having been published and the sixth, The Betrayal, is due out 20th October 2017.

…thanks, m’Lady, Anne… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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